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5

The main advantage of IVF is described by ULA as weight-saving measure (~1 ton) for longer-duration missions, compared to batteries / photovoltaics / fuel cells: An existing Centaur goes from a vehicle with nominal two main engine burns and 8 hour flight duration to one capable of 10+ burns and flight durations measured in multiple days. Burnout ...


4

(Note: this is based on my current understanding of the technology, and it may not be complete.) I will focus here on your main question, which is "how [does IVF] make [a stage] reusable?". I should first refine the question to "how does IVF make a stage re-fuellable?". The critical points are that IVF eliminates the need to carry gaseous Helium, which is ...


2

I might give some answer to your five bullet points, although I don't have a number for the estimate cost (I doubt anyone has): 1) Cost of recovery: It should if anything be lower by capturing the engines in midair than having to soft land them on their own. Replacing the autonomous landing system and its fuel of the F9R with an ordinary helicopter sounds ...


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